Working from home is quickly becoming not only a way to cut out the commute and enjoy the pleasures of home life away from the office, but an unexpected way to stay productive when you can't make it to a work site. For many businesses, you can't easily get away with a laptop and a lot of distractions around the home, meaning that you'll need to cultivate an office-like setting within the home for the sake of focus or professional presentation. Here are a few home office design tips for people who need more focus at home and fewer background problems during calls or video presentations.
Home Office Setup Means Marking Territory
Working anywhere you want is limited to a few easier tasks. Preferences aside, you can perform research almost anywhere and type documents anywhere, but some situations require additional resources and discretion.
If you constantly need to reach for a printer, scanner, or fax, or if you're required to keep customer data safe, you need to section-off your work area. If you live alone, this can be as simple as designating a specific room or corner of a room to office concerns only. If you live with others, a door is usually mandatory.
The Corner (Of A Room) Office
When sectioning-off a part of a room, natural borders include a change of furniture and accessories. Blocking off the sides of your office area with file cabinets, plastic storage bins, the office desk, and your chair can help you get into the mood of working without glancing at other parts of the home. Some tall potted plants can help block the line of sight from distractions in the home as well.
One thing to understand is that multitasking is harder than many people assume, and often a trick of the mind. Many people think they're good at handling home tasks and work tasks, but heavy amounts of productivity are lost in exchange for setting a constantly changing goal of work instead of doing as much work as possible within a focused area.
Separate Rooms And House Rules
If you're a stay-at-home parent switching to a home office parent...stop that. Being at home for your kids is still a helpful possibility, but as many parents who have gone down the path already have realized, kids in the productive area can be distracting and damaging to a career.
This doesn't mean you can't take care of your kids when they're just a few feet away. It's your responsibility to make arrangements with your job when children are infants or too young to understand boundaries, but those boundaries must be both taught and physically created. Kids also aren't the only problem, as some adults lack boundary control.
Boundaries include a set amount of hours where interruptions will not be tolerated if it's not an emergency. No matter how convenient it is to knock on your door just to ask questions or say hi, interruptions need to become taboo during working hours. You will also need a door that is close to sound-proof to prevent any shouting in the home from reaching your microphone.
The office desk becomes another vital part of your office design when inside a room. You may want a large desk that amplifies the importance of your position, a small desk that can fit inside limited room space, or a desk that blocks people from easily walking up and interrupting your work. Speak with an office furniture professional to discuss desks, storage pieces, and decorations to enhance the feel of your home office.